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Fish and Game Commissioner Dan Richards Controversy Sparks Reform

The Humane Society of the United States thinks Dan Richards should no longer serve on the California Fish and Game Commission, but the organization is most concerned about the collective work of the Fish and Game Commission and that it has the right people committed to addressing the animal welfare and wildlife conservation challenges in the months and years ahead. The HSUS thanks leading California lawmakers for speaking out on Richards’ actions and for pledging to position the Commission for success.

Assembly Speaker John Perez and Assemblymember Ben Hueso sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown informing him of new legislation that would reform Fish and Game Commission standards and practices. The letter also requested that leadership of this important government body be entrusted to someone who reflects Californians' values toward wildlife protection.

“Dan Richards has become a sideshow, and the sooner he leaves the Fish and Game Commission, the better it is for California,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “The entire Richards controversy has made it plain to Californians that the people who serve on the Commission must be committed to wildlife protection and the conservation of natural resources. We hope now that Governor Brown and the legislature appoint and approve the right people for the current and future vacancies for this important policy-making body.”

Richards has refused to step down in defiance of the wishes of tens of thousands of Californians, more than 40 state legislators, the Lieutenant Governor, and mainstream organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States, Sierra Club California, Audubon California, Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife and the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance.